Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Deserter's Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq [Hardcover]

Joshua H Key , Lawrence Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.



Book Description

Jan. 19 2007
In this first-ever memoir from a young US soldier who participated for eight months in the war in Iraq and then fled to Canada, Joshua Key offers a vivid and damning indictment of how the war is being waged. Joshua Key is a husband and father from a conservative background who enlisted in the army to lift his family out of poverty. A year later, President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq and Key was sent to Ramadi. The war he found there was not the campaign against terrorists and "evildoers" he had been told to expect. Key saw Iraqi civilians beaten, maimed, and shot for little or no provocation. He witnessed the killing of a seven-year-old girl who was scrounging leftover army rations, and watched while the dead bodies of Iraqis provided sport for US soldiers. When Key was sent home on leave he knew he could not return to the war. He went underground, finally seeking asylum in Canada. His case is now before the Canadian courts. In clear-eyed, compelling prose crafted with the help of award-winning Canadian novelist and journalist Lawrence Hill, The Deserter's Tale tells the story of a man who went into the war believing unquestioningly in his government and who was transformed into a person who ethically, morally, and physically could no longer serve his country.

Product Details


Product Description

Review

"...a story worth telling: how a good man became lost in an immoral system..." -- Quill & Quire, March 2007

"The Deserter's Tale is a very slim book, but it never pretends to be more than one man's account. Key does the math, as should the reader: If this is what one soldier saw in seven months, imagine the sum total of the inhumanity being perpetuated in Iraq." -- Toronto Star, February 11, 2007

"The case of Joshua Key . . . is unique. He is the first US soldier who actually served in Iraq to claim sanctuary from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, based on his `personal experience with atrocities' in Iraq. . . .Key will be able to raise the question of the war's legality as a defense." -- -- Michael Roberts, The Province

"The writing is fluid, crisp and compelling. The story is shocking... [told] with unflinching frankness..." -- The Gazette, February 3, 2007

"What's most engaging about this book is its essential honesty... The Deserter's Tale ought to be required reading for soldiers heading overseas..." -- The Globe and Mail, February 10, 2007

From the Author

When I was still being recruited in Oklahoma City in 2002, I had to sign a paper to the effect that I had read and understood a warning from the military: Desertion in the time of war means death by a firing squad. That just about sums it up. We could do whatever we wanted to Iraqis. But if we ran from duty, there would be hell to pay. I will never apologize for deserting the American army. I deserted an injustice and leaving was the only right thing to do. I owe one apology and one apology only, and that is to the people of Iraq. -- Joshua Key

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
All the hype about "bringing democracy to Iraq" comes crashing down as it ought in this gritty story of the American army.

Joshua Key was so crushingly poor that he fell for the advertising and decided to enlist to guarantee a regular paycheque and healthcare for his family. Given guarantees that he would be building bridges within the continental U.S. - they pulled that line on my friends during Vietnam, too - he was sent to Iraq six months later.

The idiocy of the American campaign is made eminently clear as Josh tells in painful detail about how he never even saw the enemy - and spent his time brutalizing Iraqi civilians as directed by his officers. Iraq wasn't a haven for terrorists before the American invasion - but it is now, and the Americans are the ones who made it that way.

This book will give you a good picture of life as a soldier in Iraq, and give you pause when you think about what our men are probably doing in Afganistan right now.
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare Insight - Compelling Read Feb. 21 2007
By Agatha
Joshua Key, a U.S. army soldier dared to think critically and he dared to follow his heart. Joshua knew that what the soldiers of his unit were ordered to do was wrong. They had been convinced that all Muslims and all Iraqis, including women and children, were the enemy. There was no separation between terrorists and ordinary civilians. Shoot first....use force....shut your mouth....follow orders....do not question authority.

Soldiers were kept on edge, kept fearful and with a lack of sleep. Violence was normalized and all Iraqis and Muslims were dehumanized. At first, the nighttime house raids created a rush but as time went on, Joshua recognized the hundreds of violent house raids for what they were, acts of terror on innocent civilians. Joshua relates stories about atrocities committed by American soldiers and abuse of power with no accountability.

Nightmares followed Joshua home to the states after his tour of duty in Iraq. Much anguish and thought went into his decision to not go back to Iraq.

This story is well-written and is a rare look inside the U.S. military. Definitely worth the read.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars one proud moment for Canadians June 22 2009
By hopeful
A Deserters Tale destroys the myth of the US war on Terror and the compaign to bring Democracy and Freedom to Iraq. When Joshua Key's conscience could stand no more he fled to Canada with his family. However the Canadian government has refused to accept US War Resisters. Thankfully some Canadians have welcomed and are aiding the courageous men, women and children. The book is a must read.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read Sept. 4 2007
This book is very readable as it didn't take me long to get through it. It's well written too. You literally see the transformation of a man from loyal, patriotic American to soldier to disillusioned deserter. He gives you a very good glimpse of life on the frontlines in Iraq. Overall, one is left with deep sorrow for a man who grew up in a poor, abusive household, got drafted by the US Army if only because the recruiter outright lied to him, was made to commit atrocities on behalf of the US Army in Iraq, and had had enough. No review can do this book justice. It should be required reading in schools. I wish Mr. Key and his family peace.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Deserter rationalizes his actions Oct. 24 2007
By J. Guild - Published on Amazon.com
I am glad I read this book for a number of reasons. However;it is difficult to write a review on this book without bringing in one's personal feelings and opinions.
This man was not drafted ,or in any way forced to join the U.S. Army.He explains why he volunteered and is quite open in the fact that he did not join to be sent into action.He maintains that he was assured that he would not be sent into action by his recruiter.We have no option but to take his word for that. He goes into great details on some of the things he did in Iraq and many of his fellow soldiers. All these things are unsupported and the others who he accuses are not available to agree or disagree with what he says.
There have been deserters in all wars;and they have their own way of rationalizing their actions.He knew the penalty for desertion was most serious ;and I am sure he did not take his actions without serious consideration.
Be that as it may,a Soldier takes an oath and gives up the option of deserting if he is unhappy with the way things are going.There are many others in the long history of war;who have not agreed with everything and they lived up to their oath ,and yes,many paid the supreme sacrrifice; but did not opt for the path of desertion.
From everything we see in this book,this man probably should never have been in a volunteer army;but that choice was his. In other times, when men were drafted into service;most served honorably even though they may not have wanted to or did not agree with the reasons for war.Desertion was not an option to them either.We saw many who were drafted to serve in Vietnam,avoid the draft by becoming Draft Dodgers and came to Canada.It has always bothered me that people who decided that they would not fight for their country would rationalize that it is their right and let someone else do it. When they dodge the draft or desert,they leave their country and look for another country to "take them in".Would they serve their adopted country if required? The other question that begs an answer is should they ever be given amnesty years later?How can that ever be just to those who did their duty and serve their country?
I have never agreed with the government giving grants for the publishing of books.The fact that The Canada Council for the Arts,The Ontario Arts Council and the Government of Canada have contribited funds to publish this book about a person who has broken his country's law is inexcusable to me.
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category


Feedback